Freedom of thought award: Yazidi women win Sakharov prize
Society13:43 Oct. 27, 2016
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Yazidi women win Sakharov prize

Europe's top human rights award given to two Yazidi women who escaped slavery and now advocate Yazidi community rights

Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar received Sakharov prize. These two women were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women abducted by IS militants and forced into sexual slavery in 2014. They managed to escape and became public advocates.

The freedom of thought prize is awarded annually in memory of Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet scientist and dissident. The European Parliament awards the prize every year to honour exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

Read more Crimean Tatar leader shortlisted for 2016 Sakharov prize

Other finalists included Mustafa Dzemilev. the Crimean Tatars leader, and Can Dündarn, the former editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Cumhuriyet. 

Mustafa Dzhemilev, former chair of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars People (Tatar parliament), a former Soviet dissident and a Ukrainian MP, has been standing up for human and minority rights for more than half a century. He was six months old when he and his family were deported to central Asia along with all other Crimean Tatars and was only able to return 45 years later. Now, after Russia annexed Crimea, the human rights activist is again barred from entering the peninsula. He was nominated by European Peoples Party [EPP] and European Conservatives and Reformists [ECR]

Read more Saudi blogger Raif Badawi wins 2015 Sakharov human rights prize

The award ceremony will be on December 14th in Strasbourg, France. 

Based on reporting by European Parliament News

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